On August 28, JN and rebel forces seized control of the Golan Heights border crossing with Israel in Quneitra province.
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The regime’s seizure of Morek is a significant setback for rebel forces seeking to maintain the disruption of the regime’s preferred supply line to Aleppo north from Hama along the M5 highway.
Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi Shia militias area challenging ISIS on multiple fronts. In northern Babil, ISF and militias are capitalizing on their recent gains in Jurf al-Sakhar to clear ISIS strongholds in areas like Owissat and are using Fadhliyah, adjacent to the Anbar system, to advance toward Amiriyat al-Fallujah in coordination with Anbar Operations Command (AOC).
Rebel gains in southern Syria and efforts to sever regime supply routes north and south of Damascus indicate that the regime has lost momentum in the capital region. Rebel alliances show greater cohesion in this zone, as well a greater cooperation with Jabhat al-Nusra, while the regime is showing signs of severe manpower shortage. The regime is attempting to fill its ranks with new conscripts and reservists. The regime will likely need to reinforce its southern front in order to reverse rebel gains, though it is likely that the regime will need to sacrifice efforts elsewhere in order to provide sufficient support.
Iraqi Shia militias and the ISF expanded their operations in Northern Babil by working to neutralize ISIS pockets of resistance in the Farisiyah and Fadhliyah areas of Jurf al-Sakhar.
Recent statements by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and an alleged new group called the “Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Land of Egypt” has given rise to speculation that ISIS may be seeking to expand beyond Iraq and Syria into new territories such as Egypt. This fear is compounded by the recent arrest of an individual at the Cairo airport, allegedly seeking to travel to Syria for training with ISIS.
The Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga continue to launch operations to clear areas that fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in early August.
On October 24, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Iraqi Shi'a militias cleared the Jurf al-Sakhar area in northern Babil. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) historically had a major stronghold in Jurf al-Sakhar and since the beginning of 2014 its presence was renewed and consolidated.
The clearing of Jurf al-Sakhar in northern Babil by the ISF and Shi'a militias is a significant event in the course of the anti-ISIS campaign.